What is the definition of a Super Nun?
Whatcha makin’ for Superbowl Sunday? Who is your favorite team? I have to admit that I have no idea who the teams are that are up for the title this year. That is no different from any other year though. Maybe it is because I am married to a German/South African who can care less about the Superbowl. He says “what a bunch of poofs, where is the Rugby game?”
That about sums up our Superbowl Sunday.
The only part of the Superbowl that I am game for is the eating. It is my favorite kind of fare, finger foods. Here I made open-faced sliders with two toppings. One spicy peppers the other a wild mushroom duxelles, opposite ends of the heat spectrum, but both can hold their own in the flavor department. The great thing about these is that the toppings are so good on their own that a Vegetarian would love them without the meat. Something for everyone.
A few quality ingredients is key here. A great baguette, fresh ground sirloin or chuck, and a little salt and pepper is really all you need to make great sliders. Don’t mess around with it too much. If you have great ingredients you need very little else, except something to wash it down with. You may be reaching for your favorite brew, but maybe you should be thinking outside the box. Last night I was introduced to a new drink that is certainly outside of any box I have been caught drinking from (sorry T ).
Our friends Greg and Asia are from Poland. Greg just returned from Poland a few days ago and he battled through his jetlag to spend the evening with us. I was curious when they showed up at the door with a big grocery bag of apples, a juicer and a bottle of Żubrówka Bison Grass Vodka. Żubrówka even comes in a snazzy winter coat either to keep it warm or cold? They decided to show us the proper way to drink it. Ice, fresh pressed granny smith apple juice and Żubrówka. Tasty, good and strong.
- fresh ground beef or bison
- course sea salt and pepper
- sharp cheddar, gruyere or aged gouda (my favorite)
make small patties, be sure not to over work the meat. gently form the shape you want for the bread that you are going to use. season with salt and pepper and pan fry, grill on the bbq, or broil until done to your liking. after one side is finished, turn over and top with cheese if using, then continue to cook a couple more minutes until done.
serve with a dollop of the pepper sauce or the wild mushroom duxelles.
Spicy Pepper Sauce
(adapted loosely from Michael Chiarello’s Damn Hot Peppers)
- 2 Tbsp olive or canola oil
- 1 cup chopped sweet bell peppers
- 1-2 jalapeños, sliced thin
- coarse salt
- 1/2 cup marinara or crushed tomatoes
in a skillet heat the oil until almost smoking, add the bell peppers and japapeños. season with salt and let them cook over moderately low heat for 10-15 minutes, until softened. add the marinara and stir well, continue to cook for another 10-15 minutes. Taste. Keep warm until ready to use.
Wild Mushroom Duxelles
this is a chunky version, not cooked down to a fine soft mixture, but kept this side of too soft for a better texture
- 2 Tbsp olive or canola oil
- 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 cups of diced mixed mushrooms. I used portabello, crimini and shiitakes but any will work. They will shrink a lot!
- coarse salt and fresh cracked pepper
- splash of white wine, sherry or vermouth
in a large skillet heat the oil and toss in the minced garlic and mushrooms to coat with the oil. season with salt and pepper and allow to cook over moderate heat for 10 minutes. stir occasionally. the mixture will reduce down as the mushrooms give up their moisture. it will reduce significantly. don’t be alarmed because the mixture will be so tasty that a little will go along way. when the mushrooms are soft, reduced but not yet mush, add a splash of wine. allow that to cook down for a minute or two. then taste and adjust seasoning as needed. keep warm until ready to use.
Both of these toppings are great with anything even a grilled cheese sandwich.
The definition of a Super Nun, is one whose mother and grandmother were also nuns